I've never been a huge online shooter player, I leveled up my Battlefield 3 character to about level 20, and that's pretty much it. I tried Team Fortress, but man I just couldn't get into it. I've never played Call of Duty, and I probably won't be taking part in the Titanfall beta which is going on right now. But, I was nonetheless intrigued when I saw Loadout pop up on my Steam home screen. I checked out some videos, and the curiosity totally overwhelmed me. I installed it (only about 2.1gig download, not too shabby!). See for yourself:
The idea behind the game is firstly it's a 3rd person shooter. Secondly, you get to craft your own guns. What I always hated about arena type games was the usual search for a cool gun after each respawn. Here, you have two gun slots, and a slot for equipment (like grenades or a shield). So, you decide which guns you'd like to take into the fight, and basically start each spawn with those items.
Also, with it being 3rd person, while running away, you can still shoot behind you. The in-game animations are also hilariously funny - one time, I got shot in the head and miraculously survived, but I was left with only a pair of floating eyes and a spine where my beloved head used to be. Getting blown up while running removes your lower body, and you keep on crawling a few extra feet in the direction you were headed. Even sometimes after dying, you lifeless corpse will have one final say by flipping off your killer!
What is also nice about the game is they don't have the normal game modes you'd expect, but very clever variations of the usual ones.
Instead of regular death match, they have Death Snatch - it works just like regular death match, except here you drop a Blutonium Vial when you die, which the other team must pick up to score the point. The nice thing is that your team can pick it up as well, thus preventing the opposing team from scoring. So after killing the enemy, you need to get that asap, otherwise it doesn't count.
Then you get Blitz, which is similar to Battlefield where you capture points. But instead with this one, only one of the many points on a given map is active at a time and can be captured. It makes for some frantic matches, since everyone is gunning for the same point at the same time (shotguns and grenades rule here hehe!). Only once you've captured the point for your team, does it actually count. And the only way to capture it is to basically stand still right next to the point itself (you can even do your character's taunt to make capturing faster, but you cannot move or shoot while taunting!), making you a very easy target! After capturing the point, a new one becomes active, and everyone guns for that one - lots of fun!
Jackhammer - my favourite game mode in Loadout - this is their variant on the very well-known capture the flag mode, but instead of capturing a flag and be all defenseless, you capture a massive hammer, which doubles as a one-shot killer melee weapon. Then it's just a case of returning it to your base, and your hammer needs to be in place as well. Each kill with the hammer makes the capture more valuable, but you only have a limited number of hits that you can dish out with the hammer.
Lastly, there's Extraction - scattered around the map are these heaps of Blutonium that each team's designated gathering must gather and take to one of the grinders spread across the map. For each successful drop, you get points. So, it's a rush to not only protect your team's gatherer, but also to try and take out the opposing team's. The role of gatherer gets swapped around randomly as the players get picked off.
Each match is a 4-on-4 game, so the games are very frantic and quick paced, which I really like. And most of the time 3 out of the 4 players in your team (you included hopefully) actually brings their part - not like some Battlefield matches where a lot of the time people just did their own thing and not work together.
Every item that you can customize your guns with level up as you use that gun - the barrels, magazines, stocks, damage type, etc. These things just take forever to level up though, so it's best to find a gun you really like and try to stick with it for a while. Your character also levels up of course, and eventually you start to unlock additional load-out slots (you can swap load-outs in-game which is cool!), avatars and extra gun slots.
As for gun customization - there is quite a huge variety of options here - you can select between beam, slug, bullet and launcher type weapons, but can customize them further. For example, I have a Tesla Beam Weapon with a sniper barrel and a heatsink - this shoots a solid electrical beam which shocks enemies, but also arcs to nearby enemies. My buddy has a RPG that he lays mines with. Some people have machines guns that heal teammates. And others have guns that shoot fireballs (being on fire is never fun, and I've burned to death on numerous occasions! Nice touch is being on fire makes my shock gun overheat faster!).
After each match, you get experience and Blutes - this is the in-game currency with which you can upgrade your weaponry and things like that. The only part where you can pay real money is to customize your character. There are various (and extremely hilarious!) taunts you can purchase, as well as various outfits for the 3 characters in the game. You can also buy additional load-outs for your character, but these you can unlock yourself if you're patient.
Loadout is a huge adrenaline rush, and the fast and frantic game play makes jumping in for 10 minutes in your break a possibility! I highly recommend it, and it's 100% free to play!
Lastly, one thing that I really really want to congratulate the devs on is how well the game handles latency. We play on European servers from South Africa, so our ping time is around 200-300ms, but you never even notice it at all when playing with others with sub-50ms pings. The net code really makes it feel as if you're all in the same room! So guys, well done, that's some stunning coding - the big guys can definitely learn from you!
Check their website: http://www.loadout.com/ and on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/208090/
And here's Part 1: Path of Exile and Part 2: Infinity Wars